– Patrick Mott, professional blogger, says:
It’s that time of year again—It’s getting colder, darker earlier and the sun doesn’t seem to shine as much. Gone are the long, warm (school-free) days of summer. While winter doesn’t technically start until December 21 this year, it sure feels like it already has and it’s not fun. At this point, we have to admit it—summer’s gone.
Along with the onset of winter, comes the dreaded “winter blues”. The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that about fifteen-percent of Canadians are affected by a form of the winter blues. It’s suggested that such a condition is caused by the decreasing sunlight, with symptoms including weight gain, decreased energy and irritability. Most forms can be treated with an array of prescription medications. But there’s another, less-invasive remedy that is expected to help beat the winter blues, and that is: exercise.
For a long time now, exercise has been a suggested remedy to aid in various illnesses. There are a variety of reasons that you may choose exercise over other remedies, but, if you’re like I am, you probably aren’t as active in the winter as you are in the summer. Once winter hits, we put away our bikes, close our pools, and shut ourselves in to escape the bitter cold outdoors. And that means that we limit our physical activity. However, by increasing (or maintaining) exercise in the winter, we reap an abundance of rewards, from sleeping better, focusing more precisely, and feeling great overall. But now, by exercising in the winter, we can be the winter blues’ worst enemy!
In addition to going to the gym regularly in the winter, I’ve rounded up the top five ways to beat the unwanted winter blues:
- Eat Properly: Make sure you’re eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and enough water on a daily basis!
- Face the Cold: No, walking outside in the heart of winter isn’t fun. But by walking, jogging or running outside, you’re increasing your intake of sunlight which you begin to lose in the winter months.
- Do Yoga: All year round, yoga is a great way to exercise. Especially in the winter, yoga helps you exercise in a way that may not feel like you’re exercising!
- Swim: Indoor pools present a great way to help release endorphin’s (the feel-good hormone) that can help you beat the winter blues.
- Take a Vacation: To show off all your hard work at the gym, head south and enjoy soaking up the sun! It’s also a great way to get vitamin D!
Fatigue, craving sweets, and oversleeping are all symptoms of the so-called winter blues. Use the five tips above to help you overcome the dark, short, and cold days of winter. And remember, in no time you can pack away that parka and head for the outdoor pool, showcasing how hard you’ve worked at the gym.